When I am evaluating a domain name to buy, I spend some time looking at other domain names that are in the same field. I look at longer versions of the domain name, alternative versions of the domain name, and the best keyword domain names in the space. The two things I look for are ownership and usage.
It is important for me to see that companies in that particular vertical own keyword domain names. This shows me that the companies who operate in the space either understand and appreciate keyword domain names or they don’t. If I see all similar / related domain names are owned by domain portfolio owners, it shows me that that there could be a lack of interest in the names, or certainly a lack of interest in spending money to acquire these domain names.
Usage of similar or related domain names may be even more important. If I see active websites on great keyword domain names in the space, it shows that companies value these domain names. They may be willing to spend money to acquire similar domain names for their own usage or for defensive purposes. Companies that don’t own keyword names but have competitors who own them might be more willing to spend money to compete with their competitor.
There have been plenty of times I bought what seems like a great domain name only to find the number of prospective buyers to be surprisingly few. There are some businesses that simply don’t have an interest in keyword domain names, and unless something changes in the future, domain names might be a hard sell in certain businesses. They could still have value of course, but if end users aren’t buying them, it makes it more difficult to justify the purchase.
There are many reasons to search around and see who owns similar domain names to something you might buy. Ownership and usage of similar domain names are two things I consider when considering an acquisition.